Twenty one is an important number in a person's life as it is the age when one becomes an adult. Twenty one has another important signification that many may not know. It is the number - 21A - of a new article that was to be inserted in the constitution of India. it reads: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine and is subsequent to the 86th amendment voted in 2002 giving every India child the right to education.
5 long years have passed but the central government has not yet notified the Act or enacted the legislation. Activist have been battling the issue
A recent email from an activist group working with municipal schools brought to light many issues that we have been facing in the past 8 years. One of them was the report card issue. Primary school kids from municipal schools never got progress reports and our staff had to fight with school authorities to get results of terminal examinations. Now, thanks to a petition fled in court, issuance of progress reports has become mandatory!
This is a sad reflection of the reality that we live in. Laws exist but are never implemented be it education, child labour or other social issues. I takes a sting operation or a Public Interest Litigation filed by some activist group or NGO to get the judiciary to react and issue appropriate orders.
It seems that one of the biggest stumbling block in the way of progress and development is the non-implementation of various laws, schemes and projects aimed at benefiting the less privileged. And perhaps, it would be in everyone's interest to ensure that existing schemes are properly enacted.